‘Hillary Lite’ In Montesano?

HRChissy Hillary What Difference Does It Make Clinton’s use of a personal email account for official business during her tenure as Secretary of State has the political landscape buzzing. But why focus on the Obama administration and Chappaqua, New York when Grays Harbor seemingly has a Clinton wannabe right here in ‘River City’? (If you didn’t get that, you may want to dig up 76 Trombones and have a consult with Prof. Harold Hill. And if you didn’t get that… oh, never mind.)

Here’s part of what House Select Committee on Benghazi Chair Trey Gowdy said on the Clinton email controversy last Tuesday:

“The committee is going to have to go to her, her lawyers and her email providers to ensure we have access to everything the American people are entitled to know.”

Newsflash: Harborites are also entitled to know what our elected officials have been up to. If those officials aren’t fully responsive and forthcoming, you may rightly wonder why not? You may recall that yours truly submitted a public records request per Montesano City Councilmember Marisa Salzer on October 14, 2014. In case you forgot, it reads:

“All records related to Marisa Salzer from March 1, 2014 to present. Emails, text messages, city & personal P.C. City policies and user agreements signed by Salzer.”

She’s been cha-cha-ing ever since.

Salzer claims she’s disclosed the whole tamale and all relevant documents have been turned over to the city responsive to the PRR. Guess who conducted the document search? Yep. And that same council member refuses to cooperate with any independent review to verify that claim. I filed another PRR on 15 January 2015. It goes like this:

Please consider this a public records request for all communications between Marisa Salzer and the media. Including but not limited to text messages between Salzer and Steven Friedrich and Salzer and Tom Fredriksen since she was elected to office to this date.

In response, Salzer produced four email records. The city forwarded them on 11 February. One is dated October 29, 2014. It’s from Salzer to a local radio station personality and The Vidette editor. Three more, also between Salzer and KBKW, are dated December 17, 2013. Salzer’s handwritten note of February 8, 2015 explains, “I just spoke with my attorney Sunday Feb. 8. Here are the applicable records to the most recent request.” (If you want the other three, just holler.)Schankel cover letter Salzer response Feb 10 2015 Oh, and no text messages. Go figure.

So I fired off another public records request on March 2. It goes like this:

RE: 11 February 2015 response to my PRR of 15 January 2015.

This request remains outstanding. It is inadequate and incomplete. As a reminder, please note that I specifically requested “all communications between Marisa Salzer and the media. Including but not limited to text messages between Salzer and Steven Friederich and Salzer and Tom Fredriksen since she was elected to office to this date.”

Since the response provided on 11 February included neither, please consider this a second request for said records. Please include all records per the above from the time Salzer was elected to office to today’s date (March 2, 2015). Please include any Facebook messages to or from Salzer that may be applicable per the above.

Please provide a time frame in which I can expect a complete response per the above.

PRR March 02 2015 Trey Gowdy and the public have a right to know what State Department business was conducted by a State Department official. Clinton’s business emails and messages while in office belong to the American people. Harborites have the same rights. The fact that a single council member refuses to fully comply with public record requests raises Hillary-esque questions. Like: Who’s she covering for? Is she hiding something? What? Why?

Not to beat a dead horse here or anything, but the solution is obvious: Come clean. If Salzer is indeed fully compliant and has turned over everything responsive to said requests, why not allow an independent review of her equipment to verify that claim? If she’s got nothing to hide, she’s got nothing to worry about, right? To paraphrase Trey Gowdy on Sunday’s edition of Face the Nation:

“There are huge gaps. And… with respect to (the council member), it’s not up to her to decide what’s a public record and what’s not… Frankly, I think (Monte taxpayers) are entitled to a neutral, detached arbiter to determine what’s a public record… I don’t want everything. I just want everything on …”

Well. You know the rest.

A few more questions:

  • If Salzer’s not willing to fully comply with a simple PRR verified by an independent review, should she retain her council seat?
  • Why isn’t the rest of the council demanding full compliance, verified by an independent review?
  • How much is Hillary Lite costing taxpayers?
  • Don’t local citizens deserve better?

Photo credit: Public domain